Time for Tawake to fight on

Samuela Tawake attacks for his United Rugby Club in the US. The mobile frontrower will be fi ghting for a starting spot on the Fijian Drua next year. Picture: THERUGBYNETWORK.CoM

Samuela Tawake just got his prayers answered after being named as the 24th player for the Fijian Drua squad to play in the Super Rugby Pacific championship from next year.

Fijian Drua interim chief executive officer Brian Thorburn said Tawake was one of the rising Fijian stars who had earned a Flying Fijians cap.

“He also came through our U20 program, has played for Canterbury and Manawatu in New Zealand’s NPC, and is well known for both his scrummaging and mobility around the park,” Thorburn said.

“We know he will fight hard for a place in our match-day squads.”

After being stuck in Fiji during the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic, the tough tighthead prop headed to his village in Vuma, Ovalau, and worked on his plantation.

Life has not been friendly to the big prop having lost his elder brother Rupeni, who died after a short illness.

Samuela continued to pursue rugby and got selected for Naitasiri in the Fiji Rugby Union Skipper Cup competition.

Last year he secured a contract to play in New York for United Rugby Club alongside former Fiji 7s rep Apenisa Cakaubalavu.

Samuela made the MLR team of the week three times and scored four tries during the season.

He made his debut for the Flying Fijians in the 33-31 win over the Barbarians in Twickenham in 2019.

He was also one of the players named in the Barbarians side to play England at Twickenham, but was cancelled because of the pandemic last year.

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